The existence of a significant correlation between alcohol use and crime has long been acknowledged in the scientific literature.
In order to ascertain the existence of significant relationships among alcohol use, delinquency and victimisation among young people, and to describe the nature and characteristics of such relationships, a database was set up to record the results of the “International Self-Report Delinquency Study 2”.
This database was created by selecting a sample of young people (N = 57,771) of both sexes, aged between 12 and 16 years, in 25 European countries.
The research focused chiefly on the role of alcohol use and sought to analyse the influence exerted by different life situations (age, sex, lifestyle, friendships and personality traits).
Alcohol consumption proved to be a very widespread phenomenon among young people, particularly among youths who commit crimes and those who are victims of crime. Moreover, it emerged that the abuse of alcohol was the consumption modality most closely associated with both delinquency and victimisation. Alcohol consumption was seen to correlate more closely with the involvement in violent crime than with property offences. the analyses conducted on the relationship between the involvement in alcohol use and various psychosocial factors yielded particularly significant results. The association between alcohol use and delinquency was confirmed in all geographical settings.
In conclusion, alcohol, delinquency and victimisation are closely related with one another. The nature and characteristics of these relationships suggest that the associations between alcohol use and delinquency and between victimisation and alcohol consumption are reciprocal rather than one-directional.